Lippert’s new pin box simplifies fifth-wheel towing with a shortbed truck
Shortbed pickups are increasingly popular with folks who want a full-size truck for towing and an extended or crew cab for the family and pets. But since these owners don’t need the truck for work, they don’t necessarily want an 8-foot bed, which makes some feel like they’re driving around in the Queen Mary. However, towing a fifth-wheel with a shortbed requires a sliding hitch. An automatic slider is more expensive and takes up more space in the bed; making sharp turns using a manual slider can be problematic if the owner forgets to release the mechanism.
LCI’s 16,000-pound-rated Turning Point kingpin box functions as a standard or rotating counterpart but provides greater cab-to-fifth-wheel clearance by moving the pivot point from the pin back 22 inches, without having to add a plate.
LCI accomplished this by using a custom-designed wedge that will snugly match the pin slot on most fifth-wheel hitches. The wedge is installed with two bolts on the pin-box head just behind the pin, which prevents it from turning on the hitch head. Two locking bolts are removed from the back of the pin box, allowing it to turn on the rear pivot point, adding the extra trailer-to-cab clearance.
Switching from shortbed to longbed use is simply a matter of removing the wedge and reinstalling the locking bolts, which transforms the Turning Point into a regular fifth-wheel pin box. Of course, you can continue to use the Turning Point’s pivoting feature even if you have a longbed truck, which will result in better fifth-wheel maneuvering in tight quarters and when backing.
Lippert Components Inc. | 574-537-8900 | www.lci1.com/turning-point
Chris Dougherty is technical editor of Trailer Life and MotorHome. Chris is an RVDA/RVIA certified technician and lifelong RVer, including 10 years as a full-timer. He and his wife make their home in Massachusetts and hit the road with their travel trailer every chance they get.